Category: News

2020 Global Teacher Prize Winner

Irina Bokova, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, congratulated the winner of the Global Teacher Prize of 2020, Ranjitsinh Disale, on the 14th of December. She saluted the courage and sacrifice of teachers across the globe during these times of uncertainty, when education suffers from its largest disruption in the history of humanity. She also reminded the public that “nothing can replace a good teacher”, and that it was key that, after the crisis, people still show teachers support.

OMVS presents a check for 200 million CFA francs for the 9th World Water Forum

Hamed Semega, member of the Bridge Tank’s board and High Commissioner to Sub-Regional Organisation for the Senegal River Basin Development Authority (Organisation de Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Senegal, OMVS), handed the organisers of the 9th World Water Forum (which will take place in 2022) a 200 million CFA francs check from the OMVS.

The official ceremony to welcome this financial support took place on the 11th of December 2020 in Dakar. During this event, an agreement of partnership was also signed between the OMVS and the forum’s executive secretariat to ensure cooperation between these two entities in 2021. In this agreement, the OMVS committed to support mobilisation of resources necessary to the organisation of workshops and other projects integrated to the Dakar 2021 initiative

A loan of 40 million euros has been announced for the development of the H2 Corridor project

Raphaël Schoentgen, member of the Bridge Tank’s board and Founder and CEO of Hydrogen Advisors, took part in the advisory consortium gathering Seiya, Element Energy France, and Hydrogen Advisors that, in support to French Occitanie Region and AdOcc, its economic development agency, and AREC, developed the Corridor H2 Project for heavy road transportation, for which an loan of 40 million euros was announced during the Energaia Forum on the 9th of December 2020. An agreement on this was signed between Carole Delga, President of the French region Occitanie, and Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.

The H2 Project is dedicated to the development of high-capacity hydrogen distribution stations on the European road between the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as across Occitanie, and to the production of an important number of heavy vehicles to transport goods and passengers. It therefore aims at transforming transportation in these area into a completely carbon-free one, which vehicles and refrigerated trailers relying on hydrogen technology.

Liberal forum for political dialogue: freedom of the press and the fight against fake news in the digital age

El Hadj Kasse, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, was one of the keynote speakers of the Liberal Forum of Political Dialogue dedicated to the freedom of the press and the fight against fake news during the digital age. This event took place on the 7th of December 2020 in Dakar, Senegal. 

Among the other keynote speakers were Seydou Gueye, Spokesperson and Communications Coordinator for the presidency of the Republic, Mamadou Ibra Kane, Director General of the Future Media Group, and Mame Less Camara, Director of Information for the Future Media group.

T20 handover between Saudi Arabia and Italy

The T20 presidency handover between Saudi Arabia and Italy took place on the 30th of November 2020. The Argentinian, Japanese and Saudi chairs of the former presidencies attended this important event, to highlight the continuity of the works and research of the T20. The Bridge Tank has been a member of the T20 since 2016, and will participate to the Italian presidency’s works in 2021.

On the occasion of this handover, a debate was organised on themes such as the lesson from the past presidencies, the challenges and priorities for the Italian presidency, and the coming challenges for multilateralism. Among the keynote speakers of this debate were Pietro Benaéssi, Sherpa of the G20 for Italy, Fahad M. Alturki, Chair of the T20 for Saudi Arabia, Paolo Magri, Chair of the T20 for Italy, Julia Pomares and Gustavo Martinez, chairs of the T20 for Argentina, Naoyuki Yoshino, chair of the T20 for Japan, and Ettore Greco and Antonio Villafranca, coordinators of the T20 for Italy. This debate was chaired by James McGann, Director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania.

2020 Horasis Asia Meeting

During the annual Horasis Asia Meeting, which gathered 400 of the regions and the world’s most senior leaders from business and government, the speakers exchanged about the overcoming of the profound economic, political and social disruptions caused by COVID-19. This event took place on the 30th of November 2020.

Joël Ruet moderated one of the panels, entitled “ESG Investing in Asia Post-COVID”. Among the keynote speakers of this session were Ara Brutian, Director and Head of Digital Innovation for Sustainalytics, Rajiv Lall, managing director and vice-chairman of Infrastructure Development Finance Company, Kai Dai, CEO of Young Sustainable Impact Greater China and Chairman of the Kylin Prime Group, and Arun Sharma, President of Grovepike Associates. It was highlighted during this panel that data structuring and norms were at the centre of the post-COVID investments, and it was also underlined that this COVID crisis had to be considered as an opportunity for investment. The United States’ return to Asia, in terms of investments, was also noted. Voluntary disclosure and engagement was defined to be a key component of the future of finance, especially with the rising generational issues..

Democracies, Governances, Rules of law in Africa, which perspectives?

Alain Dupouy, president of the Objective Future Africa Club (O2A) think tank and Alain Juppé’s former advisor for Africa, hosted a workshop which gathered political actors and activists from West African countries, notably Guinea, Tchad, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Benin. This discussion was following the theme “Democracies, Governances, Rules of law in Africa, which perspectives?”. It took place on the 26th of November 2020. 

Among the keynote speakers were Cellou Dalein Diallo, President of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea and former Guinean Prime Minister, Succès Masra, President of the Chadian Transformers Party, Abdoul Aziz Mbaye, former chief of staff for the Senegalese President Macky Sall, Alain Juillet, former head of the French General Directorate for External Security, Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank, Laurent Bigot, former French diplomat, and Reckya Madougou, former Beninese Minister of Justice. 

The points that were made during these exchanges were that democracy was perfectly compatible with Africa, as long as criteria of social justice and wealth redistribution were met. The international community also has to encourage dynamism for the private economic sector to help the professional development of the African youth. Africa’s future must be decided in Africa to ensure its longevity.

RCEP agreement and India

Pranjal Sharma, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, wrote a paper for The Daily Guardian entitled “RCEP and India: Between the lines” on the 21st of November 2020. The RCEP is a multilateral trade agreement between Asian countries, started by China during the 2011 ASEAN meeting. China intends on using this agreement, which creates a coalition of trade partners, to counter the American and European influences in the global economy.

In this paper, Pranjal Sharma argued that India did not sign this agreement as it has been sceptical of regional trade agreements involving China, especially considering that Chinese cheap exportations have seriously affected many sectors in many countries, such as Indian engineered products. Joining such a trade agreement could harm Indian domestic producers even further. The Indian decision to remain out of the RCEP therefore is the country’s chance to develop its own manufacturing competitiveness, which could lead to India’s emergence as China’s new global rival.

US Presidential Election – What is the Global Outlook? Point of view of Jean-Claude Beaujour

Jean-Claude Beaujour, Vice-President of the France-Americas Foundation and member of the Brigde Tank’s board, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former French Prime Minister and President of the Prospective and Innovation Foundation, Hubert Védrine, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kanwal Sibal, former Indian Ambassador to France, Alexandre Orlov, former Russian Ambassador to France, and André Chieng, President of Asian European Trade, took part in a webinar organised by the Prospective and Innovation Foundation. This event aimed at gathering American, Asian and European perspectives on the American presidential elections and its potential global consequences. This webinar took place on the 20th of November 2020.

Jean-Claude Beaujour argued that the election process and institutions had been respected in the 2020 election. He argued that Joe Biden’s election was mainly due to the support of the democrats, but also due to the handling of the coronavirus crisis by the Republicans as well as a will to not have Donald Trump as President. However, an important part of the American population still supported Donald Trump, which highlights the division of the society. Jean-Claude Beaujour also argued that Joe Biden’s priorities, once he officially becomes President, will be focused on domestic policies rather than changing the transatlantic relations, which will then have to be a European duty.

Biden and the new diplomacy: India will need to recalibrate its strategy to suit changing global realities

Yoginder Alagh, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, wrote an article in the Indian Express entitled “Biden and new diplomacy: India will need to recalibrate its strategy to shifting global realities” on the 18th of November 2020.

In this article, he argued that the Biden presidency’s interactions with the political, environmental and global institutions would have major implications for India, particularly on the natural forests of Kashmir and the rights of Adivasis.

Indian lobby groups are still very active in Washington, whether they’re close to the Democrats (mostly the ones associated to NGOs of minorities) or to Trump supporters (mostly representing Hindutva groups). These lobbyists will play a key role in the representation and defence of Indian interests, in a changing context affecting the Americano-Indian relation as well as India’s place in international relations.

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